We are sorry for our delay in sharing our Eid celebrations with you but we've all been having such a wonderful time.
Eid-ul-Fitr is the most significant religious, social and cultural festival in Bangladesh, and the entire Muslim nation celebrates this day with due fervour and gravity.
The Sreepur Village celebrates this important festival every year, and this year was no exception and all of the mothers and children took part in the celebrations. A three-day long programme, full of religious solemnity, lots of sports, singing, dancing and joyful celebrations. We spoke to Swapna and her son Sumon, who celebrated their first Eid at Sreepur Village this year, and wanted to share their story with you...
“This was a very special Eid day for me. Before coming to Sreepur, I had never had a joyful Eid. I was born in a poverty-stricken family, and although we were together to celebrate my siblings and I never had a special Eid celebration like so many others had. My parents were unable to give us new dressed for Eid, and for three of our Eid celebrations we didn't even have enough food for us all to eat that day. Having enough food to eat to celebrate Eid was a dream, a luxury, to us. When I met my husband, our Eid celebrations did not become any more joyful. He was as an unfortunate man as my father, a poor peasant day-labourer. After our marriage, it took him three years to give me a Shari (Bengali traditional clothing for women). My children also suffered a lot because of our lack of money, and we felt terrible that we could not give them all of the things we wanted to bless them with. It hurt me a lot. However, this Eid, I experienced a huge change in my life. My children get new clothes and delicious Eid dishes. I also get a new Sari. Basically, at this place (Sreepur Village), is where my children have become happy. I was worried when I chose to come to Sreepur, but each day I know that I made the right decision. Before I came here, I never thought that Eid would be a day of joy or celebration for me. My next hope is that I will be able to give my children new dresses that I have paid for myself by bringing in my own income."
"Gracious! These three Eid days at Sreepur were astonishing for me! I got my new outfit three days before Eid. I didn’t show it to anyone before the Eid prayer and was so excited to wear it. All of my friends Hridoy, Hakim, Samuel, Saikot and all of us went to Mosque for Eid Prayer. Then we eat Semai (special dishes for Eid). Before the Eid day I coloured my hands with henna. The entire Village had great fun with lots of sports, fancy dress and with singing and dancing. All aunties (mothers) joined in. On Eid day, I also go for a trip out of the Village with my mother and sister and we ate beef for lunch. On the final day of Eid the aunties performed songs and dances, and in the evening the prizes were given to the winners of various sports and cultural events. I won an award for the sack-race! Lots of us received various awards from Michael mama (uncle (project director). I never had a celebration or day like this in my life before we came to Sreepur, and I will never forget how special this Eid has been."
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Ignorance and wrong beliefs surrounding disability, compounded with a negative and derogatory attitude of the community (including family members) have contributed to the marginal development in the disability sector in Bangladesh.